UN recently adopted the first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons. The ten-page treat is encompassing in its prescriptions: it prohibits a full range of nuclear-weapon-related activities, such as undertaking to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as well as the use or threat of use of these weapons. However, the treaty faced strong opposition, especially from the nine nuclear-armed states, which boycotted the negotiations. Key players, namely, the US, the UK, France, Russia, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan and Israel, too did not join the discussions.
After the Narendra Modi government was formed in 2014, a series of measures have been introduced, like the legislative initiatives of amendments in the Prevention of Corruption Act, which are very encouraging. Today, a public servant finds corruption a risky proposition. Let us not forget that the Central Vigilance Commission is only one of the many institutions in India with a defined charter. I am confident that we are going to see a cleaner and better government. The CVC alone cannot claim any credit in this success.
In order to make the economic survey and the budget more meaningful, it may be a good idea if the union budget is framed by popular consensus. This would (a) take care of the growing disconnect between the economic survey and the union budget, (b) make the budget more meaningful for the common man and (c) take care of the oft-repeated allegation that the budget is meant only for the rich.
Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who is Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, doesn’t hesitate to call a spade a spade. He once said that fear rules India and at another time pointed out that our democracy is deeply flawed. The erudite scholar spoke his mind when he wrote that our national anthem is not a tax that requires compliance. The election of the vice president will take place on August 5. Outgoing vice president Hamid Ansari’s term ends on August 11. A look back at some of his speeches: